“This Baby is Not Going to Survive,” Mom Rejects Pressure for Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2013   |   2:59PM   |   Wellington, New Zealand

A mother in New Zealand has rejected calls from her doctor and medical professionals to have an abortion of her disabled baby.

At 16 weeks of pregnancy, the young woman was told by doctors that her unborn baby would only live for a short time after she was born. The New Zealand Herald has more details:

Three medical experts urged her mum, Toni Alexander, to terminate the pregnancy. Instead, the family researched and drew hope from similar cases. At 32 weeks, baby Ava was born with a relatively common horseshoe kidney.

Now the family want answers.

Tauranga mum Toni was told at her 16-week scan that one side of her baby’s brain was growing faster than the other. A further scan showed there was no amniotic fluid around the baby.

Toni, 19, was diagnosed with PPROM – preterm premature rupture of membranes.

PPROM affects two in every 100 pregnancies. It causes the loss of amniotic fluid rich in the protein, carbohydrates, lipids and urea a growing fetus needs to survive.

“We were told if the baby did survive it would live for a short time after birth before passing away,” Toni, now 21, said.  “They said there was no hope – they said ‘this baby is going to die’.”

The family were told scans showed no Nasal or facial bones, missing organs and undeveloped lungs. The scans missed the horse-shoe kidney.

Specialists at Waikato Hospital sent Toni away with information on the recommended termination. But Toni ignored the advice.

Michelle Kauffman of Family Life International New Zealand applauded her courage.



At a time when prenatal screening is routine, this story (and the countless more that are similar), should serve as a warning for medical professionals, for parents and for families.  All too often, a prenatal diagnosis of an impairment, disability or life-limiting condition ends in abortion. Often this is because of pressure from the medical experts, from a lack of information about the conditions and a fear of the unknown.

But Baby Ava’s story shows that sometimes doctors get it wrong.

And even if they don’t get it wrong, why is the answer abortion?

Motherhood begins at the moment new life is conceived.  Mothers love, they protect, they nurture their children.  Toni, has shown mothers everywhere, who face the unknown, how to do this courageously.